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The Leipzig 
Connection 

by Paolo Lionni 



"Arresting" 

Christian Science Monitor 




"Arresting.. .Paints a picture of deliberate sabotaging of 
sound pedagogy... by those who should have known 
better." 

Christian Science Monitor 



"Should be owned and read by every individual con- 
cerned with his immediate future safety.. .More exciting 
reading than you generally find in such 
material. . extraordinary. " 

Common Sense Newsletter 

"Perceptive. ..a blunt, concise argument for the resto- 
ration of educational principles. ..will stimulate 
argument." 

The Seattle Times 

"Power-packed.. .The missing link that tells us exactly 
who and what.. .fills a large gap in our present research." 

National Educator 

"A kind of detective story, one with a villain and 
victims but no heroes. ..the appalling effects of scientific 
psychology." 

MANAS 




A group of psychologists celebrating Wilhelm 
Wundt's 80th birthday. Wundt is seated, center left. 



Paolo Lionni 



THE LEIPZIG 
CONNECTION 

The Systematic Destruction of American Education 



Contents 



Preface ix 

1. A New Domain 1 

2. The Impress 11 

3. Positioning 21 

4. Mice and Monkeys 29 

5. A Gift From God 43 

6. Molding Hands 49 

7. Round Numbers 61 

8. A Showplace 67 

9. Favoring Breezes 73 
10. A New Social Order 83 

Research Notes 91 

Bibliography 99 



Preface 



In the final years of the last century, a 
great transformation began in American education. 
By the end of the first world war, Americans would 
notice increasingly a change in the way their children 
were being educated. In the succeeding decades, the 
same schools that once nurtured the American 
dream would become infested with drugs and 
crime, and high schools would be graduating stu- 
dents who could barely read, spell, or do simple 
arithmetic. 

This report details the origins of a national 
metamorphosis, yet it is hardly definitive. Major 
changes in American education, along the same 
lines as those described herein (and, in many cases, 
overlapping them), were wrought by the great 
Carnegie and Ford "philanthropies" and by a host of 
individuals (i.e., Col. Parker, Goddard, Terman, 
Yerkes, Binet, Piaget, Watson, Skinner, Freire, 
Illich, et al). Agencies other than those mentioned 



X THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

in the book also played major roles. Foremost among 
these undoubtedly is the august and hyperactive NEA 
with its National Training Labs, publisher of the 
Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Special mention 
should also be made of UNESCO's International 
Bureau of Education (formerly the Institut Jean-Jacques 
Rousseau), born in 1925 of a generous grant from the 
Rockefeller Foundation. 

These initial and somewhat unexpected findings, 
however incomplete, are released in order to help others 
analyse more clearly this tragic transformation of the 
national character. Further research has simply 
substantiated and enlarged upon the thesis of this work. 

The ongoing debasement of philosophy and ethics, 
and its social consequences, is a tangled tale and, where 
references are not pursued or fully detailed, it is not 
because of an unwillingness to answer the questions 
raised rather is it from a desire to suggest a broader 
context within which the story unfolds. Those who 
contend, with Wilhelm Wundt, that history and its 
processes are responsible for the formation of 
individuals and their views (rather than the reverse) will 
undoubtedly find this approach unpalatable; then again, 
not everyone would want this tale untangled. 



1. A New Domain 



Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt was born in 
1832 in Neckarau, a small town in southern Ger- 
many. 1 Wundt entered the university at Tubingen 
when he was 19, transferred to Heidelberg after 
half a year, and graduated as a medical doctor from 
that university in 1856. He stayed on at Heidelberg 
for the next seventeen years, working first as a 
professor's assistant, and later as a professor him- 
self, in the field of psychology. Psychology, at that 
time, meant simply the study (ology) of the soul 
(psyche), or mind. 2 



1. Perhaps the best descriptive biography of Wundt is contained in 
Professor Edwin G. Boring's A History of Experimental Psychology, 2nd ed. 
(New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1929). See, also, Schultz, Duane 
P., A History of Modern Psychology (New York: Academic Press, 1969), 
and Murphy, Gardner and Joseph K. Kovach, Historical Introduction to 
Modern Psychology, 6th ed. (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1972), for 
excellent overviews of the development of experimental psychology. 

2. See, for example, A Standard Dictionary of the English Language 
(New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1895), which notes the intrusion of the 
new German definition of the word in a reference note inserted by Wundt's 
student James Mark Baldwin. 



2 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

In 1874, Wundt left Heidelberg to take a position as 
professor of philosophy at Zurich. He stayed there for 
only a year, and then accepted a chair in philosophy at 
the University of Leipzig, in Germany. He was to 
remain at Leipzig for the rest of his academic career, 
eventually being appointed rector of the university. 
Wundt died in 1920. 

Those are some of the vital statistics. What they omit 
is that Wundt was the founder of experimental 
psychology and the force behind its dissemination 
throughout the western world. 

To Wundt, a thing made sense and was worth 
pursuing if it could be measured, quantified, and 
scientifically demonstrated. Seeing no way to do this 
with the human soul, he proposed that psychology 
concern itself solely with experience. As Wundt put it: 

...it truly appears to be a useless waste of energy 
to keep returning to such aimless discussions 
about the nature of the psyche, which were in 
vogue for a while, and practically still are, 
instead, rather, of applying one's energies where 
they will produce real results. 3 

3. Shipley, Thome, ed., Classics in Psychology (New York: 
Philosophical Library, 1961), 52-3, extracted from Wundt, Wil-helm, 
Contributions to the Theory of Sensory Perception, trans. 



A New Domain 3 

Germany was the center of civilization: its scientific 
and technological advances were well-known. The 
Germans excelled in the application of scientific terms 
and procedures to previously non- scientific areas. 
Hegel, at the University of Berlin, had proposed to 
make of history a scientific subject; he became 
Germany's leading philosopher, emulated by a 
generation of students. Karl Marx injected Hegel's 
theories with economics and sociology, developing a 
"philosophy" of "dialectical materialism." Herbart and 
Fechner applied mathematical principles to learning 4 ; 
Muller and Helmholtz grafted physiology to behavior; 
Fritsch and Hitzig applied electrical stimulation to the 
brain to determine the relationship of brain functions to 
behavior. Throughout the revolutions and revolts of 
1848 across Europe, the rise of the Socialist 
Internationals, and the forced unification of the new 
Germany by Otto von Bismarck, Germany was a 
flourishing center of culture and the 



from Beitrage zur Theorie der Sinneswahrnehmung (Leipzig: C.F. Winter, 
1862). 

4. Herbart and Fechner are perhaps the direct lineal antecedents of Wundt 
in the area of education. See Boring, op. cit, 250-260 and 275-296. Herbart's 
psychology, as it applies in particular to education, is lucidly described in 
Paul Monroe's A Brief Course in the History of Education (New York: 
Macmillan, 1927). See also Dunkel, Harold B., Herbart & Education (New 
York: Random House, 1969) and DeGarmo, Charles, Herbart and the 
Herbartians (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1912), for good 
discussions of the impact of Herbart's views on education. 



4 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

sciences, each of its universities a magnet for the 
ambitious intellectual youth of Europe and the United 
States. Leipzig was no exception and one of its 
principal attractions was Wundt, who was attempting to 
place his ideas within the mainstream of German 
scientism by redefining psychology as a physiological 
rather than a philosophical subject. 

Soon after his arrival at Leipzig in 1875, he had 
established the world's first psychological laboratory. 
Initially small and primitive, it soon increased to eleven 
rooms. He supplemented his new laboratory with a 
journal, Philosophical Studies, which became the 
official organ of both the new laboratory and the newly 
redefined "science" of psychology. Wundt stated his 
overall intention in clear terms: 

The work which I here present to the public is an 
attempt to mark out a new domain of science. 5 

Wundt's basic approach was to gather data con- 
cerning physiological responses in order to clarify how 
the individual experienced feelings and sensations. He 
was convinced that perceptions and experiences could 
be understood through measurable 

5. Schultz, op. cit, 45. 



A New Domain 5 

physiological reactions. Wundt noticed that reactions 
began with stimulation, followed by (1) perception, in 
which the experience exists within the individual; (2) 
"apperception," in which the body (or so he thought) 
identifies the stimulus and combines it with other 
stimuli, and (3) an act of will which results in (4) a 
reaction to the stimulus. What was will? For Wundt, 
will was the direct result of the combination of 
perceived stimuli, not an independent, individual 
intention as psychology and philosophy had, with some 
notable exceptions, held up to that time. 6 

It seems, at times, that Wundt was the kind of 
person who is particularly likely to be under- 
estimated. His personality was not sufficiently 
picturesque to make him stand out on that 
account; and his work shows no single, brilliant 
contribution to knowledge that can be readily 
circumscribed and labeled with a 

6. Here, Wundt was condensing and organizing the work of his 
contemporaries, with primary emphasis on the works of Herbart. 
Psychologist R.I. Watson, in The Great Psychologists (Philadelphia: 
Lippincott, 1963), p. 257, describes Wundt as a: 

...great synthesizer of research findings, both of the work that 
preceded him and of that carried on by his students. Wundt's forte 
was not luminous ideas lighting upon the dark corners or giving us a 
new dazzling perspective on the old picture. Rather, he worked over 
a thousand details, cleaning here, repairing there, filling a crack 
here, so that psychology leaving his hands was an improved, more 
coherent picture, but still a familiar one. 



THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

phrase. His great achievement was the bringing 
into effective relations of many things which, it 
is true, had existed before, but which had not 
been integrated into an effective organization; 
and somehow human beings are prone to 
regard such achievements as less striking and 
less creative than those of the order of 
Helmholtz's and Fechner's. But the man who 
sensed the movements of scientific thought as 
Wundt did, who embodied them in the first 
laboratory, who gave them form in an 
influential system, and who imparted them to 
enthusiastic students who were proud to carry 
on his work, has no small claim to the title 
often accorded him, that of father of modern 
psychology. Wundt himself was not unaware of 
the debt psychology owed him, and not 
altogether indifferent as to whether or not it 
was recognized. In his role as father, he 
inclined toward the patriarchal, almost toward 
the papal; he reserved the right to speak with 
authority, to pronounce ex cathedra on 
psychology and psychologists, and to draw a 
distinct line of demarcation between authentic 
psychology and psychology of which he did not 
approve. Even to-day, so great have been his 
influence and prestige, the term "experimental 
psychology" to many still has as its first 
connotation the kind of 



A New Domain 7 

psychology which was taught in Wundt's 
laboratory or which Wundt recognized and 
approved. 7 

Wundt made two major contributions to the 
transformation of education in the West. The first 
was theoretical and will be taken up here. The 
second is addressed in the next chapter, The 
Impress." 

Wundt asserted that man is devoid of spirit and 
self-determinism. He set out to prove that man is 
the summation of his experiences, of the stimuli 
which intrude upon his consciousness and uncon- 
sciousness. In directing the work of his students, he 
focused their energies on minute examinations of 
sensory perceptions, in an attempt to dissect and 
quantify every aspect of action and reaction. What 
determined the difference between one individual 
and another in reaction time to stimuli? Why do 
some individuals combine stimuli differently than do 
others? What are the "laws" of the associations that 
can be formed between words? Wundt and his 
students regarded such questions as paramount. 8 

A highly respected physiologist, Wundt estab- 
lished the new psychology as a study of the brain 

7 Heidbreder, Edna, Seven Psychologies (New York: D. Apple-ton- 
Century Company, Inc., 1933), 96-7. 

8. Boring, op. cit., 339-344. 



8 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

and the central nervous system. From Wundt's 
work, it was only a short step to the later redefin- 
ition of the meaning of education. Originally, 
education meant the drawing out of a person's 
innate talents and abilities 9 by imparting the 
knowledge of languages, scientific reasoning, hist- 
ory, literature, rhetoric, etc. — the channels through 
which those abilities would flourish and serve. To 
the experimental psychologist, however, education 
became the process of exposing the student to 
"meaningful" experiences so as to ensure desired 
reactions: 

...learning is the result of modifiability in the 
paths of neural conduction. Explanations of 
even such forms of learning as abstraction 
and generalization demand of the neurones 
only growth, excitability, conductivity, and 
modifiability. The mind is the connection- 
system of man; and learning is the process of 
connecting. The situation-response formula is 
adequate to cover learning of any sort, and the 
really influential factors in learning are 
readiness of the neurones, sequence in time, 

9. A concept going back to the Latin root of the word, eductus, to bring 
out, lead forth, from e, out of, + ducere, lead. Hence, "to develop the 
faculties and powers of by teaching, instruction, or schooling," from Emery, 
H.G., and K.G. Brewster, The New Century Dictionary of the English 
Language (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1927). 



A New Domain 9 

belongingness, and satisfying consequences. 10 

If one assumes (as did Wundt) that there is 
nothing there to begin with but a body, a brain, and 
a nervous system, then one must try to educate by 
inducing sensations in that nervous system. Through 
these experiences, the individual will learn to respond 
to any given stimulus, with the "correct" response. 
The child is not, for example, thought capable of 
volitional control over his actions, or of deciding 
whether he will act or not act in a certain way: his 
actions are thought to be preconditioned and beyond 
his control, because he is a stimulus-response 
mechanism. According to this thinking, he is his 
reactions. Wundt's thesis laid the philosophical 
basis for the principles of conditioning later 
developed by Pavlov (who studied physiology in 
Leipzig, in 1884, five years after Wundt had 
inaugurated his laboratory there) and American 
behavioral psychologists such as Watson and 
Skinner; for lobotomies and electroconvulsive 
therapy; for schools oriented more toward the 
socialization of the child than toward the 
development of intellect; and for the emergence of 
a society more and more blatantly devoted to the 
gratification of sensory desires at the expense of 
responsibility and achievement. 



10. Pintner, Rudolph, et al., An Outline of Educational Psychology, rev. 
ed. (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1934), 79. 



2. The Impress 



Wundt's second major contribution to 
psychology's preempting of education wasn't theoretical 
at all: he produced the first generation of researchers, 
professors, and publicists in the new psychology. This 
group went on to establish experimental psychology 
throughout Europe and the United States: 

Through these students, the Leipzig Laboratory 
exercised an immense influence on the 
development of psychology. It served as the model 
for the many new laboratories that were 
developed in the latter part of the nineteenth 
century. The many students who flocked to 
Leipzig, united as they were in point of view and 
common purpose, constituted a school of thought 
in psychology. 1 

1. Schultz, op. cit., 45. 

11 



12 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

The list of Wundt's students is a Who's Who of 
early European and American psychologists. In 
succeeding years, one could go to almost any 
major European or American university and study 
the new psychology with a professor who had re- 
ceived his Ph.D. directiy from Wundt at Leipzig. 2 

Naturally Leipzig became the Mecca of stu- 
dents who wished to study the "new" 
psychology — a psychology that was no longer a 
branch of speculative philosophy, no longer a 
fragment of the science of physiology, but a 
novel and daring and exciting attempt to study 
mental processes by the experimental and 
quantitative methods common to all science. 
For the psychology of Leipzig was, in the 
eighties and nineties, the newest thing under 
the sun. It was the psychology for bold young 
radicals who believed that the ways of the mind 
could be measured and treated experimentally — 
and who possibly thought of themselves, in their 
private reflections, as pioneers on the newest 
frontier of science, push- 



2. Some of the more notable of Wundt's European students were Kiesow 
at Turin, Kirschmann at Toronto and later Leipzig, Storring at Zurich and 
Bonn, Kulpe and Kraepelin ("father" of schizophrenia) at Munich, 
Meumann at Hamburg, Marbe at Wurz-burg, Lehmann at Copenhagen, 
Wirth and Krueger at Leipzig, Lipps at Zurich, Durr at Bern, and Lange at 
Tubingen. Boring, op. cit, 427-9. 



The Impress 13 

ing its method into reaches of experience that it had 
never before invaded. At any rate they threw themselves 
into their tasks with industry and zest. They became 
trained introspec-tionists and, adding introspection to 
the resources of the physiological laboratories, they 
attempted the minute analysis of sensation and 
perception. They measured reaction-times, following 
their problems into numerous and widespread 
ramifications. They investigated verbal reactions, thus 
extending their researches into the field of association. 
They measured the span and the fluctuations of 
attention and noted some of its more complex features 
in the "complication experiment, " a laboratory method 
patterned after the situation that gave rise to the 
astronomer's problem of the "personal equation." In 
their studies of feeling and emotion they recorded 
pulse-rates, breathing-rates, and fluctuations in 
muscular strength, and in the same connection they 
developed methods of recording systematically and 
treating statistically the impressions observed by 
introspection. They also developed the psychophysical 
methods and in addition made constant use of resources 
of the physiological laboratory. And throughout all 
their endeavors they were dominated by the conception 
of a psychology 



14 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

that should be scientific as opposed to spec- 
ulative; always they attempted to rely on exact 
observation, experimentation, and mea- 
surement. Finally when they left Leipzig and 
worked in laboratories of their own — chiefly in 
American or German universities — most of them 
retained enough of the Leipzig impress to 
teach a psychology that, whatever the sub- 
sequent development of the individual's 
thought, bore traces of the system which was 
recognized at Leipzig as orthodox. 3 

The young Americans who studied with Wundt 
returned to found departments of psychology 
throughout the United States. With the prestige 
attached to having studied in Germany, these men 
found little difficulty in securing positions of 
influence at major American universities. Each be- 
came successful to a marked degree; each trained 
scores, often hundreds, of Ph.D. students in psy- 
chology; each contributed to new associations and 
publications in the new field of study. Almost without 
exception, every one of them became involved in 
another field which lay open to the advance of 
German psychology — the field of education. 

The first of Wundt's American students to return 
to the United States was G. Stanley Hall. 

3. Heidbreder, op. cit, 94-5. 



The Impress 15 

Returning from Leipzig in 1883, he joined the 
faculty of Baltimore's new Johns Hopkins Univer- 
sity, which was being established after the model of 
the great German universities. Hall organized the 
psychology laboratory at Johns Hopkins and, in 
1887, established the American Journal of 
Psychology, giving the "adherents of the new 
psychology not only a storehouse for contributions 
both experimental and theoretical, but a sense of 
solidarity and independence." 4 

Two years later, in 1889, when Clark University 
was established in Worcester, Massachusetts, Hall 
was chosen to be its first president. In 1892 he 
played a leading role in founding the American 
Psychological Association. Hall became known for 
his intensive studies of child development (which 
directly fostered the child study movement in this 
country) and in 1904 he published his masterwork, 
the two-volume Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its 
Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, 
Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education, 5 welding 
experimental psychology to child education. 

Hall was also instrumental in furthering the 
career of a man who was to have an unusually 
profound effect on the course of American educa- 

4. Murphy and Kovach, op. cit, 175. 

5. Schultz, op. cit, 175. 



16 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

tion: John Dewey. Dewey was born in Vermont, 
graduated from the University of Vermont, spent a 
little over two years teaching high school, and 
enrolled as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins 
University 6 (following in the footsteps of his older 
brother by 1 1/2 years, Davis Rich Dewey, who 
later became professor of economics and statistics 
at M.I.T. and who was, for 29 years, managing 
editor of the American Economic Review). He spent 
a year studying under Hall, and received his 
doctorate from J ohns Hopkins in 1884. He taught for 
ten years at the universities of Michigan and 
Minnesota and in 1886 (the same year the National 
Education Association was formed), while a 
professor at Michigan, Dewey published Psychology, 
the first American textbook on the revised subject. 
In late 1895 he was invited to join the faculty of the 
Rockefeller-endowed University of Chicago as head 
of the departments of philosophy, psychology, and 
pedagogy (teaching). That same year, the University 
allocated $1,000 to establish an education 
laboratory in which Dewey 



6. There have been many accounts of Dewey's influence on education in 
the United States. For his role in the "Chicago School" of psychology see 
Schultz, op. cil, 124-6. See also Arthur G. Wirth's John Dewey as Educator: 
His Design for Work in Education (1894-1904), (New York: John Wiley & 
Sons, Inc., 1966); Baker, Melvin, Foundations of John Dewey's Educational 
Theory (New York: King's Crown Press, 1955); and Bernstein, Richard J., 
John Dewey (New York: Washington Square, 1966). 




G. Stanley Hall, Wundt's first American student and John 
Dewey's mentor. Clark University Archives. 




John Dewey. "The ultimate problem of all education is to 
coordinate the psychological and social factors..." Courtesy of 
University of Minnesota Archives. 




Edward Lee Thorndike: "Subjects such as arithmetic, language, and 
history include content that is intrinsically of little value." Harvard 
University Archive. 



: 





;UT \fyj " 



* 



A 



A typical installation modelled after Wundt's Leipzig facility; in this 
case the main psychological laboratory at Clark University, at the 
turn of the century. Clark University Archives. 




Experimental psychology at work — the backdrop for today's 
educational methods. Clark University Archives. 



The Impress 17 

could apply psychological principles and experi- 
mental techniques to the study of learning. The 
laboratory opened in January, 1896, as the Dewey 
School, later to become known as the Laboratory 
School of the University of Chicago. 

For Dewey, the school was a place "where his 
theories of education could be put into practice, 
tested, and scientifically evaluated." 7 

...Dewey... sought to apply the doctrines of 
experience and experiment to everyday life 
and, hence, to education... seeking via this 
model institution to pave the way for the 
'schools of the future. ' There he had put into 
actual practice three of the revolutionary beliefs 
he had culled from the new psychology: that to 
put the child in possession of his fullest talents, 
education should be active rather than passive; 
that to prepare the child for a democratic 
society, the school should be social rather than 
individualist; and that to enable the child to 
think creatively, experimentation rather than 
imitation should be encouraged. 8 [emphasis 
added] 



7. DePencier, Ida B., The History of the Laboratory Schools, The 
University of Chicago, 1896-1965 (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1967), 13. 
Another pro-Dewey account, more oriented to Dewey's philosophy of 
education, is G. Max Wingo's The Philosophy of American Education 
(Lexington: D.C. Heath, 1965). 

8. Cremin, Lawrence A., David A. Shannon, and Mary Evelyn 



18 THE LEIPZIG CONNECi ION 

This was a sharp break from the traditional 
definition of education. In Dewey's own words: 

Education consists either in the ability to use 
one's powers in a social direction, or else in 
ability to share in the experiences of others 
and thus widen the individual consciousness to 
that of the race 9 ... The ultimate problem of all 
education is to coordinate the psychological 
and social factors... The coordination demands... 
that the child be capable of expressing himself, 
but in such a way as to realize social ends. 10 

Although today Dewey's views are in practice in 
the great majority of American schools, before the 
turn of the century they were revolutionary. The 
Wundtian redefinition of "education" to mean 
feeding experiential data to a young brain and 
nervous system, rather than the teaching of mental 
skills, led to the abdication of the traditional role 

Townsend, A History of Teachers College, Columbia University (New York: 
Columbia University Press, 1954), 45. Although a strongly flattering 
"official" history of Teachers College, this book is nonetheless a storehouse 
of data pertinent to the invasion of psychology into American education. 

9. Dewey, John, Lectures for the First Course in Pedagogy, unpublished, 
No. 1 (1896), 1; quoted in Wirth, op. cit, 28. 

10. Dewey, John, Plan of Organization of the University Primary School, 
unpublished, University of Chicago, 1895 (?); quoted in Wirth, op. cit., 88. 



The Impress 19 

of the teacher as educator. Its place was taken by 
the concept of the teacher as a guide in the social- 
ization of the child, leading each youngster to 
adapt to the specific behavior required of him in 
order for him to get along in his group. 11 Dewey 
called for a levelling of individual differences into a 
common pool of students who are the object of 
learning technicians devising the social order of the 
future. 12 

According to professors Mort and Vincent of 
Columbia Teachers College, "John Dewey was the 
culminating theorist in three centuries of educational 
writing." 13 To Dewey, as to Wundt, man was an 
animal, alone with his reactions and entirely 
dependent upon experiential data. He believed 

11. See, in particular, John Dewey's My Pedagogic Creed, in 
which he states: 

The school is primarily a social institution. Education being a social 
process, the school is simply that form of community life in which all 
those agencies are concentrated that will be most effective in 
bringing the child to share in the inherited resources of the race, and 
to use his own powers for social ends. 

Quoted in Mayer, Frederick, ed., Foundations of Contemporary Education 
(New Haven: College & University Press, 1966), 139. 

12. Dewey contended that the public schools must "take an active part in 
determining the social order of the future... according as the teachers align 
themselves with the newer forces making for social control of economic 
forces." Quoted in Allen, Gary, "Hands off our Children!," American 
Opinion, XVIII, No. 9 (October, 1975), 3. 

13. Mort, Paul R., and William S. Vincent, Introduction to American 
Education (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1954), 43. 



20 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

that learning occurred only through experience, 
that the stimulus-response mechanism was basic to 
learning, and that teachers were not instructors, but 
designers of learning experiences. 14 At the Dewey 
School in Chicago, and later at Teachers College of 
Columbia University, Dewey was able to 
implement and promote the interchangeability of 
psychology and education, successfully enough to 
become the leading figure in American education. 
Yet Dewey, the "Father of American Education," 
was only one of the practitioners of Wundt's revised 
psychology who critically transformed American 
education and, consequendy, American life. 



14. Ibid., 44, and Wirth, op. cit, 78-80. 



3. Positioning 



While G. Stanley Hall had been Wundt's 
first American student, his compatriot James Mc-Keen 
Cattell had the distinction of being Wundt's first 
assistant and, later, the most effective publicist and 
promoter of the revised psychology. 

Cattell was born in 1860 in Pennsylvania, and 
received his bachelor's degree from Lafayette College 
(where his father was president) in 1880. He then spent 
a short period of time in Germany, where he met Wundt 
and saw his laboratory. Returning to Germany in 1883, 
Cattell went to Leipzig and told Wundt that he was 
going to be his assistant. Wundt acceded and Cattell 
spent the next three years experimenting in Wundt's lab, 
receiving his Ph.D. from him in 1886. Cattell's primary 
interests lay in mental testing and in individual differ- 
ences in ability. 1 

1. Murphy and Kovach, op. cit., 169-72, and Schultz, op. cit, 117- 
22. 

21 



22 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

One series of experiments Cattell performed 
while at Leipzig examined the manner in which a 
person sees the words he is reading. Testing adults 
who knew how to read, Cattell found they could 
recognize words without having to sound out the 
letters. From this, he reasoned that words are not 
read by compounding the letters, but are perceived 
as "total word pictures." He determined that little is 
gained by teaching the child his sounds and letters 
as the first step to being able to read. Since they 
could recognize words very rapidly, the way to 
teach children how to read would be to show them 
words, and tell them what the words were. This 
breakthrough of Cattell's led to the adoption of a 
sight-reading method in many schools and school 
systems throughout the United States. Its failure to 
produce an expected increase in literacy is hardly 
attributable to Cattell's perception or findings, 
which have been validated and enlarged upon in our 
time with superb results by Glenn Doman, of The 
Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. 2 
Rather, Cattell's results were subsequently applied 
by teachers trained in the new psychology, who 
managed to convert even 



2. For more information on Doman's work, see his books: What To Do 
About Your Brain Injured Child, Doubleday, 1974, How to Teach Your Baby 
to Read, Doubleday, 1975 (over one million copies sold), and Teach Your 
Baby Math, Simon and Schuster, 1979. 



Positioning 23 

this otherwise brilliant observation into a national 
crisis. 

Returning to the United States, Cattell lectured at 
Bryn Mawr and at the University of Pennsylvania for a 
year. In 1887 (the same year in which Hall published 
his Aspects of German Culture), he left the country 
again to lecture at Cambridge, where he met and was 
deeply impressed by Charles Darwin's cousin, the 
English psychologist Francis Galton. Galton's theories 
held that "a man's natural abilities are derived by 
inheritance, under exactly the same limitations as are 
the form and physical features of the whole organic 
world." 3 Cattell quickly absorbed Galton's approach to 
eugenics, selective breeding, and the measurement of 
intelligence. Cattell was later to become the American 
leader in psychological testing, and in 1894 would 
administer the first battery of psychological tests ever 
given to a large group of people, testing the freshman 
and senior classes at Columbia University. 

Returning from Cambridge, Cattell became professor 
of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania — the 
first professor of the revised subject anywhere in the 
world (Wundt's title was in philosophy). At 
Pennsylvania, he established one of the first 
psychological laboratories in the country, 

3. Pintner, op. cit, 14. 



24 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

patterning it after Wundt's Leipzig model. Leaving 
Pennsylvania in 1891, Cattell joined the faculty of 
Columbia University as professor of psychology and 
head of Columbia's new psychology department, a 
critical position for the union of psychology and 
education. 

At Columbia, Cattell shone as an organizer and 
publicist. To promote the new "science" of experi- 
mental psychology Cattell created publications which 
would carry the new subject to educators and scientists 
across the country. First he began a new journal, in 
1894, called The Psychological Review. Then he 
purchased from Alexander Graham Bell the weekly 
publication Science, which later became the official 
journal of the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science. In 1900 he began Popular 
Science Monthly, continuing to publish it after 1915 as 
Scientific Monthly; that same year he began yet another 
publication, the weekly School and Society. 4 He also 
began a series of well-known reference works: 
American Men of Science, Leaders in Education, and 
The Directory of American Scholars; with publications 
such as these, he positioned the revised psychology 
within the mainstream of American thinking, the 
proponents of this new field taking their places 
alongside our leading scientists, educators, and 

4. Schultz, op. cit, 119. 



Positioning 25 

scholars in the pages of these reference books. 

During his twenty-five years at Columbia, Cattell 
supervised 344 successful doctoral candidates in 
psychology. In 1895 he was elected president of the 
American Psychological Association, and in 1900 he 
became the first psychologist elected to the National 
Academy of Sciences. Although he never wrote a 
textbook, and was the author of only a few papers in his 
field, he publicized experimental psychology broadly, 
organized his colleagues, and promoted their 
accomplishments, enabling them to consolidate their 
positions in the departments of philosophy (and, later, 
psychology) at major universities across the country. 5 

A few of those colleagues deserve passing mention 
here as they directly influenced the fusion of 
experimental psychology and American education. 
James Mark Baldwin, who studied with Wundt, became 
a professor of psychology at Princeton in 1893, and in 
1903 joined the psychology department at Johns 
Hopkins University. Baldwin was to become one of the 
leaders of American experimental psychology and 
editor of Cattell's Psychological Review. Andrew C. 
Armstrong, professor of psychology at Wesleyan 
University, in building up Wesleyan's faculty in the 
revised subject, hired (in 1896) his own former student, 
"the ardent young 

5. Boring, op. cit, 532-40. 



26 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

experimentalist, Charles Judd, fresh from Germany 
with a Leipzig doctorate from Wundt." 6 Judd later left 
Wesleyan to become, successively, instructor in 
psychology at New York University's School of 
Pedagogy, professor of psychology and pedagogy at the 
University of Cincinnati, director of the psychological 
laboratory and psychology instructor at Yale, and 
finally, in 1909, director of the School of Education at 
the University of Chicago. 7 

James Earl Russell, a student of Wundt's who 
received his doctorate from Leipzig in 1894, came to 
Columbia University in October, 1897, five years after 
the New York College for the Training of Teachers had 
received its permanent charter as Columbia's Teachers 
College. Russell had already occupied positions of 
administrative responsibility having been, while at 
Leipzig, an official European Agent for the Federal 
Bureau of Education (then located in the Department of 
the Interior). Appointed head of the department of 
psychology and general method, Russell directed the 
central department at Teachers College. That same year, 
Russell became dean of the College. He would run it 
for the next thirty years, building the largest institu- 

6. Joncich, Geraldine, The Sane Positivist: A Biography of Edward L. 
Thorndike (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1968), 73. 

7. See the explicit reference in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., 
Micropaedia, Vol. V (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1976), 625. 



Positioning 27 



tion in the world for the training of teachers. 

Thus, in 1897, the stage was about to be set for 
the propagation of Wundt's laboratory psychology 
throughout American education. 



8. Cremin, et al., op. cit, 25-9. 



4 Mice and Monkeys 



Working closely with Cattell, Russell began 
to hire a faculty. One of his first choices was Frank 
McMurry, who had also studied psychology at Leipzig: 

Active in the National Educational Association 
and in the National Society for the Scientific Study 
of Education, of which his brother Charles 
McMurry was the executive secretary, he (Frank) 
soon attracted the attention of James Russell. The 
result was that in the fall of 1898 he joined the 
Teachers College Faculty. ..His own studies of the 
principles of method [of John Dewey, ed.] emer- 
ged in 1907 in his book How to Study and 
Teaching How to Study, followed by many 
additional treatments of the same theme. His basic 
interests also extended to the curriculum of the 
elementary school; his teaching and 



29 



30 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

writing in this realm quickly established him as a 
pioneer of modern progressive educational 
theory. 1 

It was the hiring by Russell of another practitioner of 
the new fad, however, that was to result in Columbia's 
becoming the connection for a fatal dose of Wundtian 
psychology into the mainline of American education. 
Edward Lee Thorndike was trained in the new 
psychology by the first generation of Wundt's proteges. 
He graduated from Wes-leyan University in 1895, after 
having studied with Wundtians Armstrong and Judd. 
He went to graduate school at Harvard, studying under 
psychologist William James, a transitional figure whose 
later influence depended, to a substantial extent, on his 
subtle furthering of physiological psychology (under 
the guise of Pragmatism). While at Harvard, Thorndike 
surprised James by doing research with chickens, 
testing their behavior and pioneering what later became 
known as "animal psychology": 

As briefly stated by Thorndike himself, psychology 
was the science of the intellect, character, and 
behavior of animals, including man. 2 



1. Cremin, etal., op. cit, 46-7. 

2. Ibid., 44. 



Mice and Monkeys 3 1 

Thorndike applied for a fellowship at Columbia, was 
accepted by Cattell, and moved with his two most 
intelligent chickens to New York, where he continued 
his research and earned his Ph.D. in 1898. 3 Thorndike's 
specialty was the "puzzle box," into which he would put 
various animals (chickens, rats, cats) and let them find 
their way out by themselves. His doctoral dissertation 
on cats has become part of the classical literature of 
psychology. 

After receiving his doctorate, he spent a year as a 
teacher of education at Western Reserve University, and 
it wasn't long before Cattell advised Dean Russell to 
visit Thorndike's first classroom at Western Reserve: 

Although the Dean found him 'dealing with the 
investigations of mice and monkeys,' he came 
away 'satisfied that he was worth trying out on 
humans.' 4 

Russell offered Thorndike a job at Teachers College, 
where the experimenter remained for the next thirty 
years. 

Thorndike was the first psychologist to study animal 
behavior in an experimental psychology 

3. Schultz, op. cit, 165. 

4. Cremin, et al., op. cit., 43. 



3 2 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

laboratory and (following Cattell's suggestion) apply 
the same techniques to children and youths; as one 
result, in 1903, he published the book Educational 
Psychology. In the following years he published a 
total of 507 books, monographs, and articles. 

Thorndike's primary assumption was the same as 
Wundt's: that man is an animal, that his actions are 
actually always reactions, and that he can be studied 
in the laboratory in much the same way as an animal 
might be studied. Thorndike equated children with 
the rats, monkeys, fish, cats, and chickens upon 
which he experimented in his laboratory and was 
prepared to apply what he found there to learning in 
the classroom. He extrapolated "laws" from his 
research into animal behavior which he then 
applied to the training of teachers, who took what 
they had learned to every corner of the United 
States and ran their classrooms, curricula, and 
schools on the basis of this new "educational" 
psychology. 

In The Principles of Teaching based on Psychology 
(1906), Thorndike proposed making "the study of 
teaching scientific and practical." This is his 
definition of the art of teaching: 

...the art of giving and withholding stimuli 
with the result of producing or preventing 
certain responses. In this definition the term 



Mice and Monkeys 3 3 

stimulus is used widely for any event which 
influences a person, — for a word spoken to 
him, a look, a sentence which he reads, the air 
he breathes, etc., etc. The term response is 
used for any reaction made by him, — a new 
thought, a feeling of interest, a bodily act, any 
mental or bodily condition resulting from the 
stimulus. The aim of the teacher is to produce 
desirable and prevent undesirable changes in 
human beings by producing and preventing 
certain responses. The means at the disposal 
of the teacher are the stimuli which can be 
brought to bear upon the pupil, — the teacher's 
words, gestures, and appearance, the 
condition and appliances of the school room, 
the books to be used and objects to be seen, and 
so on through a long list of the things and 
events which the teacher can control. 5 

These are the origins of conditioning and the 
later work of behavioral psychologists such as 
Watson (who received his Ph.D. from Dewey at the 
University of Chicago in 1903 with a thesis entitled 
"Animal Education") and Skinner. Thorn- 



5. Thorndike, Edward L., The Principles of Teaching Based on 
Psychology, 1906 (New York: A.G. Seiler, 1925), 7-8. See also Thorndike, 
Edward L., The Elements of Psychology, 2nd ed. (New York: A.G. Seiler, 
1915). 



34 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

dike based conditioning on what he called the "law 
of effect," which held that those actions and 
behaviors leading to satisfaction would be impressed, 
or stamped in, on the child, and those leading to 
unsatisfactory results would be stamped out. Thus 
the only way to strengthen a child's "good" response 
is by reinforcing it, and the only way to eliminate a 
child's "bad" response is by denying it. This theory 
creates certain problems for the educator. Should 
the child, for example, not want to learn his 
multiplication, the teacher will have to find some 
way of making multiplication pleasurable and 
rewarding, or the child just won't learn it. Similarly, 
if the child enjoys tossing pencils at his classmates, he 
will have to be instructed, by denying him pleasure, 
that such a "behavior" isn't permissible. This 
thinking favors a society which operates more on the 
basis of gratification than on the basis of reason or 
responsibility. Children expect to receive what is 
pleasurable, and what they desire, because they have 
learned in school that what is pleasurable is good, 
and what isn't pleasurable, isn't good. This is an 
inheritance from the stimulus-response teaching 
developed by Thorn-dike and transmitted to 
hundreds of thousands of teachers through the 
medium of "educational" psychology. Previously, of 
course, good behavior was considered its own reward; 
the idea of rewarding a child for behaving like a 
human being would only 



Mice and Monkeys 3 5 

occur to someone who supposes that the child is 
basically an animal and would have seemed like an 
open invitation to blackmail to any sensible 19th- 
century parent. 

What was the purpose of education, according to 
Thorndike? 

Education is interested primarily in the general 
interrelation of man and his environment, in all 
the changes which make possible a better 
adjustment of human nature to its 
surroundings. 6 

This is also the view of Dewey and other Wundt- 
ians — that man is a social animal who must learn to 
adapt to his environment, instead of learning how to 
ethically adapt the environment to suit his needs and 
those of society. Individualism and the developing of 
individual abilities give way to social conformity and 
adaptation; the product of education becomes "well- 
adjusted" (conditioned) children. 

Thorndike also had specific views about education 
in the basics — the 3R's: 

Studies of the capacities and interests of young 
children indicate the advisability of placing 
little emphasis before the age of six 

6. Ibid., 3. 



36 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

upon either the acquisition of those intellectual 
resources known as the formal tools — reading, 
spelling, arithmetic, writing, etc. — or upon 
abstract intellectual analysis. 7 

Despite rapid progress in the right direction, 
the program of the average elementary school 
is too narrow and academic in character. 
Traditionally the elementary school has been 
primarily devoted to teaching the fundamental 
subjects, the three R's, and closely related 
disciplines.. Artificial exercises, like drills on 
phonetics, multiplication tables, and formal 
writing movements, are used to a wasteful 
degree. Subjects such as arithmetic, language, 
and history include content that is intrinsi- 
cally of little value. Nearly every subject is 
enlarged unwisely to satisfy the academic 
ideal of thoroughness. That the typical school 
overemphasizes instruction in these formal, 
academic skills as a means of fostering intell- 
ectual resources.. .is a justifiable criticism... 
Elimination of unessentials by scientific study, 
then, is one step in improving the curriculum. 8 

Thorndike was joining and furthering the de- 



7. Thorndike, Edward L., and Arthur I. Gates, Elementary Principles 
of Education (New York: Macmillan, 1929), 308. 

8. Ibid., 311-12. 



Mice and Monkeys 37 

mands of other psychologists that the traditional 
curricula be radically changed in accord with the 
principles of psychology. Besides de-emphasizing 
the study of the educational basics, he outlined 
what he considered to be the three main functions of 
the elementary school: 

(1) to provide for each child six years of ex- 
perience designed to enable him to make at 
each step in the period adjustments to the most 
essential phases of life... To adjust this general 
education to each child requires a considerable 
degree of specialization in accordance with 
individual differences. Consequently the 
elementary school has a second function, 
namely (2) to determine as accurately as 
possible the native intellectual capacities, the 
physical, emotional, temperamental, 

recreational, aesthetic, and other aptitudes of 
children. Since some pupils will find it 
necessary or advisable to enter a vocation in 
the middle teens, a third function is essential in 
some degree, namely, (3) to explore the 
vocational interests and aptitudes of pupils and 
to provide some measure of vocational 
adjustment for those who will leave school at 
the earliest legal age. 9 

9. Ibid., 310. 



38 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

Let's look at each of these three main functions. 
We have spoken about Thorndike's views on ad- 
justment, on education as experience rather than as 
the development of skills that access abilities and 
individuality. The child, much like the animal, is 
what he has experienced, tempered by the type and 
condition of his brain and nervous system. If his 
nervous system is in good order, then the child will 
be able to respond properly to the stimuli to which 
he is exposed. It is, of course, in the child's earliest 
years that the nature of the stimuli is most important, 
as these will most influence his character and 
personality. 

Despite the careful control of stimuli and the 
conditioning of behavior, however, something 
might still go wrong. With all stimuli theoretically 
the same for a group of children, the continued 
difference in individual learning rates and abilities 
would indicate something physiologically different 
between youngsters. Hence, Thorndike's second 
point; psychological testing is used to determine 
just what the differences are. Testing each child 
regularly and thoroughly, in this view, allows one to 
determine individual learning disabilities or 
deficiencies. Thorndike's premise here is that intel- 
ligence is permanently set before the student enters 
school. 10 It is an easy conclusion, and it absolves 

10. Ibid., chapters X, XIII, passim. 



Mice and Monkeys 39 

educators from the responsibility for any of their 
students not learning, for if half the students in a 
classroom learn, that is proof enough that the 
teacher is teaching correctiy. That the other half 
doesn't learn is obviously not the teacher's fault, as 
this half heard what the first half heard, and exper- 
ienced the same stimuli. There must be something 
wrong with the second half, and psychological tests 
will determine what it is. Before 1900, the way to 
identify a good teacher was to determine that his 
students, at the end of their studies, knew a subject. 
With the emergence of psychological testing, 
however, teaching standards became dependent 
upon variables inherent in the nervous systems of the 
children, and thus out of the control of the teacher. 
The failure of many children to learn brings us to 
Thorndike's third point. He concluded that some 
students just won't make it, and that it's better to 
determine through educational testing who they 
will be, early enough so that they can be shunted into 
useful vocational training. 11 Here, Thorndike 
reflects, once again, a synthesis of the 



11. Thorndike's rationale for vocational discrimination and selection 
through testing, as expressed in his many writings on the subject, was to 
provide the theoretical basis for yet another kind of discrimination. From 
1913 on, psychologist H.H. Goddard (inventor of the term "moron") used 
psychological testing to "prove" the feeble-mindedness of great numbers of 
Jews, Italians, Hungarians, Russians and other Eastern Europeans attempting 
to immigrate to 



40 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

revised psychology of Wundt and the soft socialism of 
Dewey: 

When all facts are taken into account, we be- 
lieve it will be found that the best interests of the 
individual and society will be served by 
providing a certain number of the pupils least 
gifted in intelligence with the equipment needed 
to begin their vocational career by the 
completion of the junior high school period or 
even earlier in a few cases. Other individuals will 
advance their own welfare and that of society 
by securing but one more year, others by two, 
others by three additional years. Thus although 
the great majority of children should spend 
some time in the junior high school, not all of 
them should be expected to continue to the 
completion of the senior-high-school course. 
Each child should have as much high-school 
work as the common good requires. 12 

America through New York's Ellis Island, thereby forcing them to leave the 
country they had sacrificed so much to reach and return to Europe in time for 
the devastation of World War I. In the years before America shut its doors to 
vast numbers of immigrants in 1921, a new xenophobia was fueled by 
psychologists Louis Terman and Robert Yerkes, among others, who used 
psychological testing to "prove" the "racial dullness" of the Spanish-Indians 
and Mexican families of the Southwest and the general "feeblemindedness" 
of the "colored race." The social effects of the false racial ideas, massive 
sterilization campaigns, and other brutal eugenics measures spawned by the 
psychological testing movement are still with us. 

12. Thorndike and Gates, op. cit, 320. 



Mice and Monkeys 41 

In summary, a German experimental psychologist 
was convinced that men are animals who can be 
understood bv analyzing what they experience. His 
conclusions and methods were imported into an 
expanding American educational system and 
disseminated throughout that system to teachers, 
counselors, and administrators. Within half a century 
juvenile delinquency would run rampant, illiterates 
would pour out of the schools, teachers would no 
longer learn how to teach, and generation after 
generation of adults, themselves cheated out of the 
fruits of a good education, would despair of any 
solution to the morass of "modern" education. 



5. A Gift From God 



It took hundreds of millions of dollars to turn 
American education around in that short a period of 
time. Where did the money that inflamed this epidemic 
come from? How was it spent? How did the mainstream 
of experimental psychology meet up with a mainstream 
of millions of dollars? 

The answer, it must be admitted, is enough to make 
one feel distinctly uneasy. The new psychology tapped 
the richest existing vein of American wealth and 
philanthropy and, in short order, won for itself the 
backing of almost unlimited funds. Here were its new 
buildings, its endowments, its publications, its research 
facilities, transportation, salaries — the wherewithal to 
spread like wildfire throughout the entire fabric of 
American education. 

The checks were to emanate not from the uptown 
headquarters of Columbia Teachers College in New 
York City's Morningside Heights, but from No. 26 
Broadway, around the corner from the 

43 



44 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

financial capitol of the world on Wall Street. 

No. 26 Broadway was the most famous business 
address in the country, perhaps in the world. It was the 
corporate home of the Standard Oil Company, owned 
and operated by John D. Rockefeller, Sr. The story of 
how the resources of the great oil monopoly came to be 
used in the spread of a new psychology covers a period 
of some 40 years, and begins with Mr. Rockefeller 
himself. 

As every school child used to know, Rockefeller 
created one of the largest monopolies of his time. He 
began in the oil business in 1863, and by 1880 had won 
control of 95% of U.S. oil production. He controlled the 
drilling for oil, the refineries, the prices, and the 
transportation of crude and refined oil through an 
intricate tank car system. He sabotaged his competitors, 
hired spies to infiltrate the businesses of his enemies, 
and squeezed out independent operators by carefully 
conceived secret contracts. By 1910, when a glass of 
beer cost a penny and a loaf of bread less than a nickel, 
when a three-room apartment went for five dollars a 
month and a good pair of shoes for a dollar, Rockefeller 
had assets of over $800 million (in 1980's buying 
power, that equates to over $10 billion). 1 

1. The story of John D. Rockefeller's rise to wealth is related in 
Rockefeller family biographer and apologist Allan Nevins' Study in Power: 
John D. Rockefeller, Industrialist and Philanthropist, 



A Gift From God 45 

Rockefeller liked to make money. At age 41, he 
was quoted as saying, "I have ways of making 
money you know nothing of," 2 and later attributed 
his money-making powers to a gift from God: 

I believe the power to make money is a gift 
from God— just as are the instincts for art, 
music, literature, the doctor's talent, yours — 
to be developed and used to the best of our 
ability for the good of mankind. Having been 
endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my 
duty to make money and still more money and 
to use the money I make for the good of my 
fellow-man according to the dictates of my 
conscience. 3 

And make money he did but, his conscience 
notwithstanding, he became one of the most hated 
men in the country: 

It was more than thirty years since he had 
begun his career, and Rockefeller was the 
central figure of the most spectacular success 
story in business history. The Standard was 

2 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953). 

2. Abels, Jules, The Rockefeller Billions: The Story of the World's Most 
Stupendous Fortune (New York: Macmillan, 1965), 114-15. 

3. Ibid., 280. 



46 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

indisputably the most powerful industrial org- 
anization in the nation, and the most visible 
symbol of growing American might abroad. 
But for Rockefeller personally the price had 
been heavy: he had become identified with all 
the excesses the Standard had committed in its 
rise to power; hatred clung to him like iron 
filings to a magnet... Rockefeller had pursued 
his leviathan with complete dedication. But 
now he found himself lashed to its back as 
inextricably as Ahab, and in equal danger of 
being taken down for good. 4 

Rockefeller was excoriated by the organs of 
public opinion, and was the target of numerous 
investigating committees. His fortune and holdings 
were growing faster than he could control or 
protect them. He needed a special assistant who 
could both polish up his public image and act as 
hatchetman in the consolidation of his far-flung 
business empire. 

Rockefeller, a Baptist, had over the years given 
sums of money to various Baptist causes. By the 
late 1880's, the church elders felt bold enough to 
ask Rockefeller to contribute to the rebuilding of 
the University of Chicago, a Baptist school founded 



4. Collier, Peter, and David Horowitz, The Rockefellers: An American 
Dynasty (New York: New American Library, 1976), 41. 



A Gift From God 47 

in 1856 as the Morgan Park Theological Seminary. 
Acceding to their request, Rockefeller became 
immersed in the reconstruction of the university, 
giving to it in 1887 the then-huge sum of $600,000. It 
was during this involvement with the university that 
he met Frederick Taylor Gates, a Baptist minister 
who had previously worked for George A. pillsbury, 
founder of the flour empire, in distributing 
Pillsbury's last philanthropies before his death. 5 

Rockefeller was impressed by Gates' directness 
and by the manner in which he handled financial 
affairs. Constantiy besieged by requests for money, 
Rockefeller asked Gates to work for him and take 
the burden of philanthropic decisions off his 
shoulders. Gates was soon handling all requests for 
Rockefeller money, and doing what he could to 
polish up the Rockefeller image. He also reorganized 
Rockefeller's ownership of the great Masabi ore 
deposits in Minnesota (which provided 60% of the 
nation's iron ore), buying out the stockholders of 
personal holdings which were in trouble, and 
eliminating unprofitable holdings from the Rocke- 
feller portfolio. 

Gates grew frantic, however, at the extent of 
Rockefeller's financial holdings, and of the threat 
they contained for Rockefeller: "Your fortune is 

5. Ibid., 49-50. 



48 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

rolling up, rolling up like an avalanche! You must 
distribute it faster than it grows! If you do not, it 
will crush you, and your children, and your children's 
children." 6 As Gates later recalled: 

I trembled as I witnessed the unreasoning 
popular resentment at Mr. Rockefeller's riches, 
to the mass of people, a national menace. It was 
not, however, the unreasoning public prejudice 
of his vast fortune that chiefly troubled me. 
Was it to be handed on to posterity as other 
great fortunes have been handed down by their 
possessors, with scandalous results to their 
descendants and powerful tendencies to social 
demoralization? I saw no other course but for 
Mr. Rockefeller and his son to form a series of 
great corporate philanthropies for forwarding 
civilization in all its elements in this land and 
all lands; philanthropies, if possible, limitless 
in time and amount, broad in scope, and self- 
perpetuating. 7 



6. Ibid., 59. 

7. Ibid. 



6. Molding Hands 



If large philanthropy was to be the sol- 
ution then there was only one way for the great 
monopolist Rockefeller to go about what he called 
"the difficult art of giving": 

If a combination to do business is effective in 
saving waste and in getting better results, why is 
not combination far more important in 
philanthropic work? 1 

The game plan was simple: here was all this 
Rockefeller money, and here was Mr. Rockefeller 
being constantiy badgered, scrutinized, and hauled 
into court; why not set up a monopoly on philan- 
thropy, funnel into it large sums from the fortunes of 
Rockefeller and the other industrial barons, and 
distribute the money in a way guaranteed to ensure 



1. Rockefeller, John D., Random Reminiscences of Men and Events 
(Toronto: McClannand & Goodchild, 1909), 165. 



49 



50 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

Mr. Rockefeller the respect and admiration of those 
elements of society which had castigated him most? In 
other words, it was time to launder the money. 

The creation and funding of the University of 
Chicago had done much to enhance Rockefeller's public 
relations profile among Baptists and educators. 
Educational philanthropy, since it was paying off in 
good publicity, might be the way to go. The only 
difficulty was that education, on the whole, wasn't in 
bad shape. The indigenous American educational 
system was deeply rooted in the beliefs and practices of 
the Puritan Fathers, the Quakers, the early American 
patriots and philosophers. Jefferson had maintained that 
in order to preserve liberty in the new nation, it was 
essential that its citizenry be educated, whatever their 
income. Throughout the country, schools were es- 
tablished almost immediately after the colonization of 
new areas. Fine school systems were established by the 
Quakers in Pennsylvania and the Midwest. The free 
school movement in New York, under the aegis of 
DeWitt Clinton and Horace Mann, was flourishing. A 
large number of "normal schools" (so-called due to 
their role in setting the norms and standards of 
education) turned out thousands of well-trained teachers 
each year. Major universities had been established early 
in the country's history, and yearly graduated intensely 
liter- 



Molding Hands 51 

ate and well-educated people who were to be the 
leaders of our nation. 2 

Educational results far exceeded those of modern 
schools. One has only to read old debates in the 
Congressional Record or scan the books published in 
the 1800's to realize that our ancestors of a century 
ago commanded a use of the language far superior to 
our own. Students learned how to read not comic 
books, but the essays of Burke, Webster, Lincoln, 
Horace, Cicero. Their difficulties with grammar were 
overcome long before they graduated from school, 
and any review of a typical elementary school 
arithmetic textbook printed before 1910 shows 
dramatically that students were learning 
mathematical skills that few of our current high 
school graduates know anything about. The high 
school graduate of 1900 was an educated person, 
fluent in his language, history, and culture, 
possessing the skills he needed in order to succeed. 

Except in the rural South. The South had been 
devastated by the Civil War, and was undergoing a 



2. For an excellent description of education in New York at the turn of 
the century, see Palmer, A. Emerson, The New York Public School: Being a 
History of Free Education in the City of New York (New York: Macmillan, 
1905). Sources of information about education in this country before the 
growth of the new psychology are scarce; much, however, was written 
critically about education once Columbia Teachers College was established. 
For an overview of the philosophical background to American education, see 
Vassar, Rena L., ed., Social History of American Education, 2 vols. 
(Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1965). 



52 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

period of reconstruction which broadly shifted 
traditional values and institutions. Few schools 
existed in rural areas, even for the white children, 
much less for the children of parents recendy freed 
from slavery. It was in this rural South that Gates 
found the right circumstances for the implementa- 
tion of his plans. 

Some work had already been done in the recon- 
struction and development of the rural Southern 
educational system. The Peabody and Slater Funds 
had long been active in funding black schools, and 
the Tuskegee and Hampton Institutes were offering 
black children the benefits of industrial education, 
suitable for their future jobs in industry and 
agriculture. 3 One of the leaders in Southern 



3. The Peabody Fund was the philanthropic brainchild of George 
Peabody, an American merchant who, in 1837, had emigrated to London and 
there founded a banking and brokerage house in partnership with another 
American, Junius S. Morgan. George Peabody & Co. did extremely well, 
even by British banking standards (Rothschild, Baring, etc.). J.S. Morgan's 
son, J.P., became the firm's New York agent. When Peabody retired, the firm 
became J.S. Morgan & Co. (1864), with headquarters in London. On the 
death of old J.S. in 1890, the son, J.P. Morgan, took over the firm and 
removed the headquarters to New York, naming the American office J.P. 
Morgan & Co. In 1883, however, George Peabody's son, the Rev. Endicott 
Peabody, co-founded and became first headmaster of Groton Academy, the 
prototypical anglophile prep school for America's aristocracy, and a leader in 
educational trends. J.P. Morgan was one of Groton's first trustees. 

The John F. Slater Fund ($1,000,000) was established in 1882 by the 
nephew of Samuel Slater, a British industrialist who came to America in 
1789 to manufacture cotton machinery and came to be widely regarded as 
the founder of the American cotton industry. 



Molding Hands 53 

education was Robert C. Ogden, a Northern merchant 
(manager of Wanamaker stores) who had assisted in the 
creation of Hampton Institute. Concerned about the 
condition of rural education in the South, he initiated a 
series of yearly education conferences and, in 1901, 
hired a train to take 50 prominent men and women on a 
grand tour of the schools of the South. 4 

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who had worked at No. 26 
Broadway for four years, saw the potential here and 
went along. On his return, Junior met with Gates to 
propose that his father's philanthropy be directed 
toward Southern education. He also discussed the idea 
with his father, and with the secretary of the Baptist 
Home Mission Society, Dr. Wallace Buttrick, a man 
who would wield considerable influence in education in 
the coming years. 

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. played a central role 



4. See Raymond B. Fosdick's memorial history of the General Education 
Board and Rockefeller philanthropy in education, Adventure in Giving: The 
Story of the General Education Board, A Foundation Established by John D. 
Rockefeller (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), passim. Keep in mind that 
the altruistic tone of Fosdick's tale is a public relations tool: this is the same 
Raymond Fos-dick who, on JDR Jr.'s behalf, founded the eugenics- 
promoting Bureau of Social Hygiene and the government-restructuring 
Institute for Government Research (now part of the Brookings Institution), 
and who took over the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 1923 
while overseeing the formation of Interpol (which was soon to be turned over 
to the Nazis and was, as late as 1972, directed by former SS officer Paul 
Dickopf). 



54 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

in the Gates-Rockefeller connection. As he put it: 

Gates was the brilliant dreamer and creator. I 
was the salesman — the go-between with father at 
the opportune moment. Gates and I were 
father's lieutenants, each of us with a different 
task, but acting in perfect harmony. Gates did 
the heavy thinking, and my part was to sell his 
ideas to father. Of course, I was in a unique 
position. I could talk with father at the 
strategic moment. It might be in a relaxed mood 
after dinner, or while we were driving together. 
Consequently I could often get his approval of 
ideas which others couldn't have secured 
because the moment wasn't right. 5 

The younger Rockefeller was captivated by the 
possibilities of a Negro Education Board. After 
preliminary discussions, however, he decided not to 
limit the educational "philanthropy" program to 
one race. 6 Thus, at a dinner party on January 15, 
1902, Junior laid out his plans to an assembled 
group of noted Southern educators, and received an 
enthusiastic response. A month later, the same group 
assembled again, this time to charter a new 

5. Ibid., 6. 

6. It is also likely that both Rockefellers had, at this point, read Andrew 
Carnegie's Gospel of Wealth, published the previous year; enlightened 
paternalism was in the air. 



Molding Hands 5 5 

organization called the General Education Board, for 
"the promotion of education within the United States 
without distinction of race, sex, or creed." 7 It was to be 
a philanthropic monopoly. In the words of Gates: 

The object of this Association is to provide a 
vehicle through which capitalists of the North who 
sincerely desire to assist in the great work of 
Southern education may act with assurance that 
their money will be wisely used. 8 

The new organization, after an initial donation by 
Rockefeller, Sr. of over $1 million, quickly absorbed 
the major existing philanthropic groups working in the 
South — the Slater and Peabody Funds. The General 
Education Board first assisted Robert Ogden's Southern 
Education Board, established several years earlier, then 
broadened its horizons to include other aspects of 
education. The real motivation behind the General 
Education Board, however, was perhaps best expressed 
in the Board's Occasional Letter No. 1, written by 
Gates: 

In our dreams, we have limitless resources and the 
people yield themselves with perfect 

7. Ibid., &. 

8. Ibid., 9. 



56 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

docility to our molding hands. The present 
education conventions fade from their minds, and 
unhampered by tradition, we work our own good 
will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk. We 
shall not try to make these people or any of their 
children into philosophers or men of learning, or 
men of science. We have not to raise up from 
among them authors, editors, poets or men of 
letters. We shall not search for embryo great 
artists, painters, musicians nor lawyers, doctors, 
preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we 
have an ample supply. 

The task we set before ourselves is very simple as 
well as a very beautiful one, to train these people 
as we find them to a perfectly ideal life just where 
they are. So we will organize our children and 
teach them to do in a perfect way the things their 
fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect 
way, in the homes, in the shops and on the farm. 9 

A similar view of the power of philanthropy was 



9. Gates also had strong views about fund-raising. Once, when asked 
about the feasibility of getting repeated donations from alumni he advised 
that people, having given once, were "more likely to give again when they 
could afford to. 'People bleed more easily after a vein has been opened,' he 
remarked." (According to Fosdick, op. cit., 135.) 



Molding Hands 57 

expressed by Board trustee Waiter Hines Page 
(later to become editor of the Atlantic Monthly, 
ambassador to Great Britain, and early advocate of 
America's entry into World War I) to the first 
executive secretary of the Board, Wallace Buttrick: 

...the world lies before us. It'll not be the same 
world when we get done with it that it was 
before: bet your last penny on that will you! 10 

John D. Rockefeller, Sr.'s attention, however, 
was not just on grandly paternalistic schemes of 
social control. McClure's Magazine had begun pub- 
lication of its serialization of Ida Tarbell's muck- 
raking book, The History of the Standard Oil 
Company. Rockefeller was being hounded each day 
by hundreds of letters demanding or pleading for 
money, while the newspapers and magazines con- 
stantiy attacked him and his organization. 

Under the accumulating pressures, the body 
that he had pushed so remorselessly for the 
past forty years finally rebelled. Letters bet- 
ween Rockefeller and his wife during this 
period tell of sleepless nights. He began to 
suffer from serious digestive disorders, and 

10. Fosdick, op. cit, 12. 



58 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

his doctor insisted that he retreat from his 
cares. ..almost overnight the people who visited 
Rockefeller came away shocked by his stooped 
and careworn demeanor. ..His face had 
become deeply lined; he had put on weight, 
sagging at the midsection. He was ravaged by a 
nervous disease.. .which left him without any 
hair on his body, and in the first noticeable 
vanity of an otherwise spartan life, he began to 
worry about his baldness, hiding it first with a 
grotesque black skull cap and later with a series 
of ill-fitting white wigs, each of them a slightly 
different length so that he could imitate a 
natural growth of hair over a two-week 
period. 11 

Rockefeller's greatest desire at this time was to 
buffer himself against his enemies and against public 
opinion by pouring millions into whatever medical or 
educational charities Gates could find. He had 
enthroned Gates as his financial overseer, and had 
increasingly turned over the job of laundering his 
wealth to his son, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who over 
the years would seek out larger and more effective 
ways of investing the Rockefeller fortune toward, in 
Fosdick's words, "this goal of social control." These 
men, it can safely be said, con- 

11. Collier and Horowitz, op. cit, 45. 



Molding Hands 59 

spired to control American education while but- 
tressing the Rockefeller fortune against all attacks, 
ensuring that their autocratic views would prevail. 
With the General Education Board, Rockefeller's 
"education trust," a virtually unlimited source of 
funds was to be made available to the Wundtian 
psychologists' ambitious designs on American edu- 
cation. 



7. Round Numbers 



The first contact between the two forces 
occurred during the height of anti-Rockefeller 
publicity in 1902: 

Hardly had Dr. Buttrick opened his two-room 
office on Nassau Street in 1902 when a request 
came from Dr. James E. Russell, dean of 
Columbia University's Teachers College, and 
there was a note of urgency about it. The 
morning's mail had already brought in two 
letters from the South, Russell explained, and 
each day would bring in more — all from teachers 
seeking scholarship aid so that they might come 
North to complete their professional training... 
The General Education Board acted promptly, 
and within a few weeks scholarships of $300 
each had been awarded to six normal school 
teachers in the South. 1 

1. Fosdick, op. cit„ 298-99. 

61 



62 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

The innocent precedent was set, and the game 
was on. Teachers College needed money in order to 
accommodate its growing enrollment, expand its 
curriculum, and "influence American education, in 
accord with and even beyond its ambitions." 2 Dean 
Russell was to find his stable base of funding in the 
Rockefeller fortune, as expressed in this letter from 
John, Jr., to Russell in late 1902: 

As a thank offering to Almighty God for the 
preservation of his family and household on the 
occasion of the destruction by fire of his country 
home at Pocantico Hills, New York, on the 
night of Sept. 17, 1902, my Father makes the 
following pledge: 

Understanding that the total indebtedness of 
Teachers College at the present time amounts to 
$200,000 in round numbers, which same was 
incurred partly because of a deficit in last 
year's running expenses, and partly by reason of 
certain necessary repairs and alterations; as soon 
as he shall receive satisfactory evidence that 
this entire indebtedness had been wiped out 
my Father will contribute two hundred and 
fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) as an 
endowment for the College. 

Furthermore, during a period of two years 

2. Joncich, op. cit, 189. 



Round Numbers ,.., 

from that date, my Father will duplicate, dollar for 
dollar, all contributions in cash made by others 
toward endowment, up to a total from him of two 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000). .. 3 

As a result, Teachers College experienced a 
"meteoric rise": 

Only fifteen years after the move to 120th Street, 
Teachers College will meet the Rockefeller 
endowment terms and cover an entire city block 
crammed with seven buildings. Its facilities will 
operate from early morning to ten o'clock in the 
evening, for ten months of the year. ..Its enrollment 
is to be exceeded in size by only ten universities in 
the entire United States; only Columbia, Harvard, 
and Chicago will have more students seeking ad- 
vanced education in 1912 as, amazingly, Teachers 
College becomes the fourth largest graduate 
school in the nation. 4 

Thus Teachers College was able to expand at a time 
critical to its success and hard on the heels of a massive 
population increase among school-age 

3. Ibid., 189-90. 

4. Ibid., 190. 



64 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

children. The number of public school enrollments 
reflected this increase, rising from 9,900,000 in 1880 to 
12,700,000 only ten years later, and continuing to rise 
rapidly thereafter. The number of colleges increased 
from 350 in 1880 to nearly 500 in 1900, with college 
enrollment doubling over the same period, and 
continuing to expand into the early years of the new 
century. 5 There was an urgent need for teachers, and 
Teachers College was now firmly established and ready 
to fill that need with a methodology most schools of 
educa-cation didn't have — "educational" psychology. 

The year after Rockefeller's General Education 
Board had set Teachers College financially on its feet, 
Thorndike published the first volume of his 
masterwork, Educational Psychology. By 1904, he was 
entrenched as full professor and head of the new 
department of educational psychology at Teachers 
College. That same year, after a decade in Chicago 
experimenting with children, John Dewey joined the 
faculty of Columbia University as a member of the 
departments of philosophy and education, in a unique 
position to influence advanced students in Teachers 
College. 6 With Russell, Cattell, Thorndike, and the 
other Wundtians, Dewey set the ball rolling for an 
amalgam of 

5. Cremin, et al., op. cit, 6. 

6. Ibid., 45-6. 



Round Numbers gg 

"educational" psychology and socialism. It became 
known as "Progressive Education" and, emanating from 
Columbia's Teachers College for the next half-century, 
it slowly but surely became commonplace in every 
school in the country. 



8. A Showplace 



To Dewey and Thorndike, the schoolroom 
was a "great laboratory" in which to do their 
research and refine "the modification of instincts 
and capabilities into habits and powers." 1 Yet there 
was no large laboratory school at Columbia, no 
institution filled with willing or unknowing subjects 
for the great psychological experiments of the 
Wundtians at Teachers College — not until 1917, that 
is, when an offer to establish such a laboratory school 
came from Abraham Flexner of the General 
Education Board. 

Abraham Flexner was an able fund-raiser, an 
experienced educator, and an organizer who felt he 
had the solution to both the supposed failure of 
American education and to the need of the General 
Education Board to disburse the Rockefeller mil- 
lions. 2 Educated at Johns Hopkins University and 

1. Ibid., 44. 

2. Flexner's very readable autobiography, I Remember, he later 
brought up to date and reprinted under the title Abraham Flexner: An 
Autobiography (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1960). 

67 



68 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

the University of Berlin, he apparently had little contact 
with the Wundtian psychologists at each institution. 
Flexner's experience in education came from fifteen 
years of running his own preparatory school in 
Louisville, Kentucky, and from his studies in German 
and American education while a researcher at The 
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 
in New York City. In 1913, Flexner left the Carnegie 
Foundation and went to work for the General Education 
Board, first as assistant secretary for four years, then as 
secretary (principal executive officer) running the 
operations of the Board for eight years in partnership 
with its president, Wallace Buttrick. 3 

The resident intellectual and educator on the Board, 
Flexner's forte was in digesting large amounts of 
information and making them palatable to others: his 
specialty was education. While Rockefeller and his son 
wanted only the relative peace and tranquility of 
millions in the bank, divorced from the manner in 
which those millions had been gained and safe from 
governmental and public attacks, Flexner saw more 
clearly than any other how that money could be used to 
further 



3. In 1928, Flexner resigned from his position as a trustee of the General 
Education Board in order to devote all of his time to the establishment and 
operation of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, home of the atomic 
bomb. 




A view of Russell Hall, Teachers College of Columbia University. 
Teachers College Library, Special Collections, TCana Collection. 




John D. Rockefeller: "I believe the power to make money is a gift 
from God." 




John D. Rockefeller, Jr.: "I was in a unique position. I could 
talk with father at the strategic moment." 




Frederick T. Gates, the Baptist minister: "... unhampered by 
tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and 
responsive rural folk." 



A Showplace ™ 

progressive Education in the United States. 

Flexner's first impact on American education 
had taken the form of "Germanizing" American 
medical education. While at the Carnegie Founda- 
tion, Flexner was asked to do a major study of 
medical schools in the United States and Canada. In 
eighteen months, Flexner visited each of the 155 
medical colleges in the U.S. and Canada. 4 He was 
appalled by conditions which he considered 
inexcusable when compared with the medical 
schools he had seen in Germany. Nonetheless, he 
did find several medical schools of which he ap- 
proved, most notably his alma mater, Johns Hop- 
kins, which he considered to be "the one bright 
spot, despite meager endowment and missing clin- 
ics." 5 

Support for the "modernization" of American 
medical colleges rapidly developed in the General 
Education Board, which was looking for ways to 
expand its philanthropy beyond the narrow band of 
assistance to rural Southern education. Carnegie, 
who had fostered the study initially, would have 
nothing to do with medical funding, as "the practical 
Scot could see no point in helping insti- 



4. Flexner used the same method of whirlwind, firsthand observation in 
his grand tour of European red light districts, preparing his 1914 book, 
Prostitution in Europe. 

5. Fosdick, op. cit., 152. 



70 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

tutions which had allowed themselves to get into so 
abysmal a situation." 6 But at the request of the 
Carnegie Foundation, Flexner took off again, this 
time to survey medical schools in England, Scotland, 
France, Germany, and Austria. It was while he was 
writing up his final report that Gates invited him to 
have lunch with him. Gates was strongly interested 
in German medicine, and was opposed to the 
traditional homeopathic medicine used by 
Rockefeller's personal physician, Dr. H.F. Bigger, 
with whom he often had heated arguments. In the 
short meeting, Gates asked Flexner what he would do 
if he had $1 million to work with in developing 
medical education in the United States. Flexner 
replied that he would give it to Johns Hopkins. 
Gates sent Flexner off to his alma mater with the 
agreement that if Flexner could make a convincing 
case for the donation, it would be given by the Board. 
It was several years before Flexner finally cashed in, 
securing a $1.5 million gift from the Board to the 
German-oriented Johns Hopkins University. That 
same year (1913), he left Carnegie and joined the 
Board to direct the allocation of Rockefeller millions 
to the development of chemically oriented medicine 
in the United States. 7 



6. Ibid., 153. 

7. The disparity between Rockefeller's funding of German med- 
icine, and his own personal disdain for it, is ably described in 



A Sbowplace 71 

By the time Flexner joined the Board, his attack 
on American medical education, which had been 
front-page news across the country, had resulted in 
the number of medical schools in the United States 
dropping from 147 to 95. 8 Naturopathic medicine 
was on the decline in this country, as it was proving 
particularly unsusceptible to Rockefeller funding. 
Over the years (until 1960), the General Education 
Board would give a total of over $96 million 9 to 
medical schools which, like Johns Hopkins, 
disregarded naturopathy, homeopathy, and 
chiropractic in favor of medicine based on the use of 
surgery and chemical drugs. The Board's 
sponsorship of chemical medicine on the one hand 
and psychology on the other would culminate in 
1963 when a group of researchers at Johns Hopkins 
developed the use of Ritalin to "treat" children who 
were regarded as "troubled" or too active. The 
effects of this merger of chemical medicine and 
Wundtian psychology upon American education are 
thoroughly documented in The Myth of the 
Hyperactive Child, and Other Means of Child 
Control, by Divoky and Schrag. 10 

Collier and Horowitz, op. cit., 59-61. See also Abels, op. cit, chapters 28- 
30, passim. 

8. Fosdick, loc. cit. 

9. Ibid., 328. 

10. Schrag, Peter, and Diane Divoky, The Myth of the Hyperactive Child 
& Other Means of Child Control (New York: Random 



72 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

Flexner's second major contribution to the trans- 
formation of American education and society came 
in 1916, with his plan to create an experimental 
laboratory school, backed by Rockefeller money, 
which would be a showplace for the Progressive 
Education practices of Dewey and Thorndike. 
Flexner presented his views to the public in a short 
tract called "A Modern School." 11 In it, Flexner 
attacked traditional American education and 
proposed a sharp break with workable educational 
practices. His experimental school would eliminate 
the study of Latin and Greek. Literature and history 
would not be completely abolished, but new 
methods would be instituted for teaching these 
subjects, classical literature would be ignored, and 
formal English grammar would be dropped. Flexner 
wasn't just throwing out the baby with the bath 
water; he was blowing up the tub. 



House, 1975). For a deeper account of the broad general effects of this type 
of merger, see Schrag's devastating Mind Control (New York: Pantheon, 
1978). 

11, Flexner, Abraham, "A Modern School," Occasional Papers, No. 3 
(New York: General Education Board, 1916). 



9. Favoring Breezes 



Flexner's proposals were hardly as radical as 
those being promoted by Dewey and the other 
Wundtians working in education, but Flex-ner's 
booklet, presented to the public as a General Education 
Board paper with the full weight of the Rockefeller 
millions behind it, produced an instantaneous and 
dramatic reaction across the nation. At a time when 
German U-boats were stalking English shipping in the 
North Atlantic preparatory to American participation in 
World War I, and the newspapers were full of European 
news, The New York Times devoted a major editorial to 
Flexner's proposal, terming it "radical and dangerous," 
and "subversive of a very great part of what we hold to 
be sound and worthy in our present system of training": 

Unblushing materialism finds its crowning 
triumph in the theory of the modern school. In the 
whole plan there is not a spiritual 

73 



74 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

thought, not an idea that rises above the need of 
finding money for the pocket and food for the 
belly. ..It is a matter of instant inquiry, for very 
sober consideration, whether the General 
Education Board, indeed, may not with the 
immense funds as its disposal be able to shape 
to its will practically all the institutions in 
which the youth of the country are trained. 

If this experiment bears the expected fruit we 
shall see imposed upon the country a system of 
education born of the theories of one or two 
men, and replacing a system which has been 
the natural outgrowth of the American 
character and the needs of the American 
people.. .The plans of the General Education 
Board call for careful examination. 1 

The dam broke into a national outcry against the 
General Education Board and its attempts to control 
and alter American education. From the New York 
Journal of Commerce: 

Instances can be given in abundance where the 
mere prospect of an immense gift has changed 
the whole current of a college administrator's 

1. The New York Times, January 21, 1917, Section 7 & 8, p.2. 



Favoring Breezes 75 

thought and made him trim his sails on an entirely 
new tack to catch the favoring breezes of 
prosperity. 2 

From the Manufacturers' Record, Baltimore, Maryland: 

Control, through possession of the millions massed 
in the Educational Trust, of two or three or four 
times as many millions of dollars in education 
makes possible control of the machinery and the 
methods of education. It makes it possible for the 
central controlling body to determine the whole 
character of American education, the textbooks to 
be used, the aims to be emphasized. Operating 
through State, denominational, and individual 
systems of schools and colleges, it gives the 
financial controller power to impose upon its 
beneficiaries its own views, good or bad, and 
thereby to dominate public opinion in social, 
economic and political matters. 3 

From the New Orleans Times-Democrat: 

The case here is plainly stated. The fund 

2. Congressional Record (Senate), February 8, 1917, 2834. 

3. Ibid. 



76 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

which the General Education Board administers 
is largely provided by men whose interest in 
shaping public opinion upon certain matters of 
vital concern to society and to the State is very 
great. Whether their philanthropy serves as a 
cloak to attain the ends desired, or whether the 
plan is unselfishly conceived and the sinister 
influence unconsciously exerted, the effect is 
likely to be the same in the end. 

The gifts are hedged about by restrictions and 
conditions, with the education board to name 
them and to see that they are complied with. 
Every college which shares in the largess poses as 
a supplicant, in a sense. Not only is its policy 
partially directed by the Board, but it is 
additionally influenced, wittingly or unwit- 
tingly, by the desires of its benefactors. 4 

The debate continued onto the floor of the 
United States Senate, with Senator Chamberlain of 
Oregon leading the attack on the General Education 
Board and publicizing the views of numerous well- 
known American educators, among them Bishop 
Warren A. Candler, the Chancellor of Emory 
University in Atianta, Georgia: 

With this financial power in its control, the 

4. Ibid 



Favoring Breezes 77 

general board is in position to do what no body in 
this country can at present even attempt. It can 
determine largely what institutions shall grow, and 
in some measure what shall stand still or decay. It 
can look over the territory of the Nation, note the 
places where there is a famine of learning, and start 
new educational plants of any species it chooses, or 
revive old ones. It can do in many ways what the 
Government does for education in France and 
Germany. Its power will be enormous; it seems as if 
it might be able to determine the character of 
American education. The funds it holds represent 
only a fraction of the amounts which it will 
control; by giving a sum to an institution on 
condition that the institution raise an equal or 
greater amount, it will be able to direct much larger 
amounts than it possesses. 

As a mechanism for controlling academic opinion 
there had, perhaps, never been anything in the 
history of education that would compare with the 
board system of subsidizing learning... 

...we owe something to our ancestors, who founded 
and maintained our older institutions of learning. We 
have no right to bind up the offerings which they 
laid upon the altar of 



78 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

higher education in the enslaving conditions 
prescribed by the Rockefeller board for instit- 
utions to which it grants its humiliating doles. s 

The specific point in question had been the 
"modern school" proposed by Flexner, but the 
debate had deepened into what was to be the last 
major American stand against Progressive Education. 
After 1917 the takeover was rapid and thorough. 

Even before the noise began to die down, Flexner 
and Teachers College went ahead with their plans 
for a laboratory school. Flexner had wanted to call 
it "The Modern School" (from the title of his 
booklet), but the phrase was so disliked that he 
decided to name it the Lincoln School. 6 The General 
Education Board, following Flexner's urgings, agreed 
to supply funds for the establishment and operation 
of the Lincoln School, and to pay the salary of a 
director. 

The school was established at a temporary 
location in midtown Manhattan. Then, in 1920, the 
Board purchased a site close to Teachers Col- 



5. Ibid., 2831-32. 

6. For a discussion of the Lincoln School within the context of 
foundation funding of Progressive Education, see Wormser, Rene A., 
Foundations: Their Power and Influence (New York: Devin-Adair, 1958), 
specifically Chapter 5, "Foundations and Radicalism in Education," passim. 



Favoring Breezes , q 

lege, and invested approximately $1.25 million in 
building and furnishing the new school. 

After the Lincoln School had moved to its new 
building, Teachers College and the General 
Education Board had discussions about what was 
called 'permanent financing.' After formal requests 
for endowment from Dean Russell. .the General 
Education Board granted to Teachers College 
$500,000 in 1926, $500,000 in 1927, and 
$2,000,000 in 1928. 7 

Wundtian psychology and Rockefeller money were 
now combined in an institution whose goal "was the 
construction of new curricula and the development of 
new methods." 8 Next, textbooks were created. Standard 
teaching practices were revised, and a course of study 
organized on the principles developed at Teachers 
College by Thorndike and Dewey. Here was the full- 
fledged prototype. 

More than a thousand educators visited the Lincoln 
School in the school year 1923-1924. John D. 
Rockefeller, Jr., sent four of his five sons to study at the 
Lincoln School, with results that could, perhaps, have 
been predicted had he read the works of Thorndike and 
Dewey: 

7. Cremin, et al, op. cit, 230. 

8. Fosdick, op. cit, 219. 



80 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

...Laurance [Rockefeller] gives startling con- 
firmation as to 'Why Johnnie [sic] Can't Read.' He 
says that the Lincoln School did not teach him to 
read and write as he wishes he now could. Nelson, 
today, admits that reading for him is a 'slow and 
tortuous process' that he does not enjoy doing but 
com-pells himself to do. This is significant 
evidence in the debate that has raged about 
modern educational techniques. 9 

As an experiment in education, the Lincoln School 
proved a disappointment, and it did poorly financially 
despite continued Rockefeller support to the tune of $5 
million. 10 Finally closed down by Teachers College in 
1946, it was replaced by the Institute of School 
Experimentation, which carried on the task of 
remodeling American education. 

The judgment of the Trustees and administration 
in 1946 that the Institute of School 
Experimentation would prove to be a most 
effective instrument for experimenting in the 
public schools has been amply justified by the 
Institute's record. Closing the School and using 
the endowment's funds for the Institute 

9. Abels, op. cit, 343. 10. Ibid, 334. 



Favoring Breezes 81 

has had the effect of increasing the number of the 
College's educational laboratories. Where once 
Teachers College had laboratory schools only on 
Morningside Heights, it now had them all over the 
nation, and they are public schools with typical 
public school populations. 11 



11. Cremin, et al., op. cit, 238. 



10. A New Social Order 



The Lincoln School, despite its inability to 
teach its students how to read and write, created broad 
effects on American education. Discarding the 
traditional course of study, it developed the core 
curriculum and merged the study of history, geography, 
and civics into what it called the "social studies." To a 
generation of teachers and administrators educated at 
Teachers College, the Lincoln School was a model for 
the type of school they were to create back home. To 
thousands of visitors, it was a showplace for the new 
psychology and Progressive Education. For the 
Rockefeller forces, it was a demonstration of the 
humanitarian intentions behind the Rockefeller fortune. 
Yet it was not, however large, the sum of all the 
Progressive Education activities at Teachers College. 
Nor did it represent the thousands of ways in which a 
now-affluent Teachers College was forwarding the 
steady overhaul of American education. There is little 
in the way of change in our educational system and 

83 



84 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

our society to which the professors at Teachers College 
didn't apply themselves. Dewey's disciples Harold 
Rugg, George S. Counts, and William H. Kilpatrick 
provide good examples of where Wundt-ian 
psychology was taking the teachers of our teachers. 1 
In the words of Rugg: 

...through the schools of the world we shall 
disseminate a new conception of government-one 
that will embrace all of the collective activities of 
men; one that will postulate the need for scientific 
control and operation of economic activities in the 
interests of all people. 2 

Rugg proposed that this could be accomplished in three 
ways: 

First and foremost, the development of a new 
philosophy of life and education which will be 
fully appropriate to the new social order; 



1. By 1925, Rugg and Counts were reporting over 1,000 schools, 
nationwide, engaged in curriculum revision aligned with the new methods, 
300 of these cooperating actively with the NEA's Bureau of Research (26th 
Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education; Bloomington, 
1926). 

2. Stormer, John A., None Dare Call It Treason (Florissant, Mo.: 
Liberty Bell Press, 1964), 105. 



A New Social Order „ 

Second, the building of an adequate plan for the 
production of a new race of educational workers; 
Third, the making of new activities and materials 
for the curriculum. 3 

Counts went further, proposing that the schools 
themselves build that new social order: 

Historic capitalism, with its deification of the 
principle of selfishness, its reliance upon the forces 
of competition, its placing of property above 
human rights, and its exaltation of the profit 
motive, will either have to be displaced altogether, 
or so radically changed in form and spirit that its 
identity will be completely lost.. .That the teachers 
should deliberately reach for power and then make 
the most of their conquest is my firm conviction. To 
the extent that they are permitted to fashion the 
curriculum and procedures of the school they will 
definitely and positively influence the social 
attitudes, ideals and behavior of the coming 
generation. 4 

Although Kilpatrick's views were similar, he is 
mentioned here not so much because of his advo- 

3. Ibid. 

4. Ibid., 102-4. See also Counts, George S., Dare the School Build a 
New Social Order? (New York: John Day Co., 1932). 



86 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

cacy of Marxism or the new psychology in education 
but because, in 1914, he published a vitriolic attack 
on the teaching methods of Maria Montes-sori. He 
argued that Dr. Montessori's "emphasis on 
individuality precluded the social interaction stressed 
in American progressive theories": 

He complained further that the teaching ma- 
terials were not stimulating; that children 
learned to read, write and figure too early; 
and that any good elements in the method 
were already contained in Dr. Dewey's theories, 
which went beyond those of Dr. Montes-sori. 
Dr. Kilpatrick's book had such impact that by 
1918 the Montessori method was seldom 
mentioned in the United States, although it 
flourished elsewhere. 5 

The result of Kilpatrick's diatribe was the sup- 
pression of the Montessori method in American 
education for the next 50 years. 

Thorndike, meanwhile, was arranging for the 
publication of new spellers, arithmetic books, dic- 
tionaries (in collaboration with Barnhart), and 
textbooks on education and educational testing. 
And the General Education Board continued to 



5. Calkins, Carroll C„ The Story of America (Pleasantville, N.Y.: 
Readers' Digest, Inc., 1975), 134. 



A New Social Order 87 

fund Teachers College, as well as the Progressive 
Education Association, the National Education 
Association, and others to the tune of 324 million 
dollars. 6 

By 1953, Wundtian psychology had reached out 
from Teachers College into virtually every public 
school in the land: 

The single most powerful educational force in 
the world is at 120th Street and Broadway in 
New York City. Your children's teachers go 
there for advanced training... With 100,000 
alumni, TC has managed to seat about one- 
third of the presidents and deans now [1953] in 
office at accredited U.S. teacher training 
schools. Its graduates make up about 20 percent 
of all our public school teachers. Over a fourth 
of the superintendents of schools in the 168 
U.S. cities with at least 50,000 population are 
TC-trained. 7 

Today, Wundt is remembered only by psychol- 
ogists. Gates, Flexner, Cattell, Russell, even Thorn- 
dike, are found only in texts written by their disci- 
ples. They may seem irrelevant to today's critical 



6. Fosdick, op. cit., 250-1; "Foundation Quits," Arizona Daily Star, 
February 12, 1966. 

7. Cremin, et ah, op. cit., 269. 



THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 



educational problems: drug abuse, illiteracy, crim- 
inality, lowered standards, lack of motivation and 
self-discipline, and all the rest. Pick up a freshman 
college psychology text and you may well find no 
mention of Wundt, or even Cattell. Try to find a 
dictionary published after 1920 which has an un- 
adulterated definition of "psychology." Question 
those who went to school before 1917, and find out 
what it was like. Check out the early works and 
histories of psychology; verify the facts, the names, 
dates, locations and events. Looking further you 
will find that despite the increasing billions that the 
large foundations and, now, the federal government, 
pour into American education, the situation just 
keeps getting worse. Despite the millions spent 
every year on the apparent development of 
psychology, this field has yet to come up with one 
workable solution to the problems of education 
many, if not most of which, it now appears to have 
created. 

Psychology currently constitutes the principal 
philosophical underpinning of our educational and, 
consequently, of our cultural outiook. From its 
largely bestial precepts major decisions in all walks of 
life are now made, and anyone attempting to 
determine the causes of a deep and lengthy national 
malaise must take into account psychology's covert 
hegemony over the thought processes of the body 
politic, the body economic, and the body 



A New Social Order go 

social. Institutionalized as "education," it has be- 
come our largest single public expenditure at local, 
state, and federal levels. 

The idea that Man is an exclusively physiological 
entity conflicts daily with the promise of a way of 
life conceived for, and attainable only by, men of 
free will. This idea (that Man is a stimulus-response 
animal) and the methods it implies, has played a 
critical role in transforming The American Dream 
into a national nightmare. It has turned our homes, 
schools, offices, stores, and factories into the battle- 
grounds of World War III; the draftees drift from 
encounter to encounter, increasing numbers suc- 
cumbing as neurotic mental and spiritual casualties. 
The greatest number of victims, however, is in the 5- 
16 year-old range, as roughly one-quarter of the 
population is recruited into the compulsory federal 
behavior clinics cosmetically known as schools. 

Those willing to decide on the basis of their own 
experience and observations whether they (and 
their children) are animals or not, and who choose 
not to be, must begin now to openly repudiate 
psychology's stranglehold on our children's future 
and awaken their neighbors from the nightmare. 



Research Notes 



Almost all of the deleterious effects created in 
education over the past 200 years can be traced, 
ultimately, to the unhappy influence of Jean-Jacques 
Rousseau and the uses to which unscrupulous shapers 
of society have put his doctrines of Man's relative 
insignificance and subservience to the forces of 
"nature." 

The modern twist contributed by Wundt and his 
associates and disciples was so effective in the sub- 
version of the principles and practices of education that 
it has led us to focus in The Leipzig Connection on that 
particular scenario and its principal protagonists. 

Other characters in the story include the Germanic 
predecessors and contemporaries of Wundt-ian 
psychology: Froebel and his Universal German 
Education Institution in 1816, which spawned the 
kindergarten movement in the U.S. via the work of 
William Torrey Harris (later U.S. Commissioner of 

91 



92 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

Education) and Susan Blow in St. Louis-, Fechner, 
whose Elements of Psychophysics (Leipzig, 1860) 
pioneered, however misguidedly, the new technology of 
Man as animal; Brentano's Viennese empirical 
psychology with its offspring of "gestalt" and 
"humanistic" psychologies as imported to this country 
by Wertheimer through New York's New School for 
Social Research; and Felix Adler's 1 Seligman-sponsored 
Society for Ethical Culture with its British branch, the 
Secular Education League, founded by Stanton Coit in 
1907. 

Wundt's later work (1900-1920) was devoted almost 
entirely to the 9-volume Volkerpsychologie (Ethnic 
Psychology, still untranslated in this country). In it he 
investigated, per Schultz, 

...the various stages of mental development in 
mankind as manifested in language, art, myths, 
social customs, law, and morals. The implications 
of this work for psychology are of far greater 
significance than its content, for it served to divide 
the new science of psychology 



1. Born in Germany, Adler graduated from Columbia in 1870 and 
became professor of political and social ethics there in 1902. It may be well 
to remember here that the name Columbia, which the university adopted 
during the revolution, was cosmetically designed to protect the institution 
from the wrath of patriotic objection to its original name: King's College. 
There is no indication that the philosophy or purpose changed to match the 
name (see footnote 4, below). 



Research Notes 93 

into two parts, the experimental and the social. 2 

It is specious to de-emphasize, as does this author, the 
content of Wundt's masterwork in an effort to obfuscate 
the source of a dominant ideology, for in this work 
Wundt contended that, 

...social forces play a major role in the devel- 
opment of the complicated higher mental 
processes. 3 

This is a direct attack on the concept and methods 
forwarded by traditional humanist educators and 
philosophers, that creative thought influences the 
development of social forces. 4 



2. Schultz, op. cit, p. 47. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Emerging aspirations to greater individual and social self 
determination were also thwarted, in the late 18th century and throughout the 
19th century, by an awesome body of English pseudo-philosophy, 
psychology, and political economic theory. These aspirations, expressed 
through a plethora of technological innovations and new republican 
groupings, posed a serious economic and political threat to the ruling 
European oligarchs. 

John Stuart Mill, an early master of oligarchic public relations, is a good 
example. While writing On Liberty, Mill was actually in charge of all 
correspondence from India House (in London) to the East India Company 
representatives on location in India, and was administering that 
conglomerate's shipments to China of, at that point, over 10 million pounds 
of raw opium a year. 

Official U.S. education circles long ago adopted the "demo- 



94 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

Special mention should also be made of the con- 
cept of educational reform per se, and its leading 
exponents in Europe and the U.S., especially 
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. This disciple of Rousseau 
and of the Swiss mystic radical and physiognomist 
Johann Kaspar Lavater, having (as Swiss leader of 
the Illuminati) 5 first devised a workable system of 
public instruction for downtrodden children, 
provided the impetus for Froebel, Herbart, Mme. 
deStael, and a host of others to spread the idea of 
mass education as a state-supported agency for direct 
social control and manipulation. This concept was 
decisively furthered in our own country by the work 
of DeWitt Clinton, Horace Mann, Henry Barnard and, 
via her apprenticeship at London's Toynbee Hall, 
Jane Addams. In the hands of such reformers the 
"socialization" of the student became the senior 
purpose of education. It was, 



cratic" ideas of these British court philosophers (Godwin, Bentham, Mill, 
Ricardo, Smith, Spencer, Arnold, Malthus, et al.). These ideas, as supported 
by establishmentarian liberalism, have eroded the foundations of our 
constitutional republic, generally speaking, and have made a mockery of the 
federalist policies out of which the U.S. Constitution grew, and of the 
federalist efforts that, alone, accomplished its ratification. As a result, 
American education has become, ideologically, an indoctrination network 
for essentially unconstitutional principles which ultimately lead to a 
sacrificing of national sovereignty. Combined with a psychological 
methodology producing, alternately, apathy and violence, the implanting of 
these ideas in the minds of America's school graduates opens the door to the 
creation of an abject, manipulated and reactive population. 

The bucolic 1841 Brook Farm commune in this country was 



Research Notes 



95 



essentially, to this ideology of "socialization" that 
Wundt's psychophysical principles were wed. 6 

To find a ray of hope in the story of education in 
the western world one has to go earlier than the 
period chronicled here, to the achievements of the 
Czech theologian and educator John Amos Comen-ius 
(Jan Amos Komensky), and to the work of John 
Milton (Tractate of Education), both in the 17th 
century, or to our own time in which non- 
psychological methods are once again emerging 
from the debris left by Rousseau's heirs. 

Sanity and enlightenment were built into Amer- 
ican education in the late 18th century by the likes of 
Benjamin Franklin or the Quaker settlers who 
established important schooling systems throughout 
the midwest. The seeds they and others planted 



the Transcendentalists' anglophile prototype for an American Rous-seauvian 
(and, ultimately, psychological) school system. Nathaniel Hawthorne, a 
Brook Farm founder, was later rewarded with a U.S. consulship to 
Liverpool. Brook Farm members called themselves the Phalanx, this term 
later becoming one of the trademarks of international fascism. 

For an elaboration on the effects of official British philosophy on 
American culture, see the works of Lyndon LaRouche generally, and The 
Campaigner magazine and New Solidarity newspaper (Campaigner 
Publications, Inc., 304 W. 58th St., NY, NY 10019). 

5. Quick, R.H., Educational Reformers (New York: E.L. Kellog, 1891). 

6. Pestalozzi's ideas were first introduced to the U.S. by his disciple, 
Joseph Neef, on a grant from the millionaire Scotsman (later, American) and 
father of American geology, William Maclure. Maclure funded Robert 
Owen's New Harmony Utopian commune to 



96 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

produced a vast and advanced network of schools and 
teacher training institutions throughout the U.S. This 
network did not reach everyone and there were flaws, to 
be sure, but the foundations were in place for an 
unprecedentedly effective national education program. 
What the country needed was bold educational policy 
that built on those foundations — what it got was an 
ideological takeover. 

Many arguments have been put forth to the effect 
that our country's educational problems are derived 
from the fact and extent of government involvement in 
our schools. This is a fallacy promoted by those who 
simply cannot perceive either the true source of the evil 
or the enormous good to which an awesomely powerful 
and wealthy organization can be put if only it is led by 
enlightened forces. The fault lies not in the structure 
(for it is 



the tune of $150,000 and dreamed of having Neef spread Pesta-lozzianism 
throughout the country from the pilot program at New Harmony. Owen's 
career in this country is exemplary. The "father of British socialism" 
established New Harmony (Indiana) in 1825 and, following its failure and 
his return to Britain, his disciples Robert Dale Owen (son) and Frances 
Wright went on to found the Association for the Protection of Industry and 
for the Promotion of National Education (Fanny Wright Societies) and 
militate nationally for federal- and state-supported free and compulsory 
schooling. Robert Dale Owen was able to promote this idea more effectively 
in his later role as a U.S. congressman. It was Neef's version of 
Pestalozzianism that was carried by the Fanny Wright Societies into a 
successful national movement, albeit not exacdy according to Maclure's 
plans. 



Research Notes gj 

obedient) but in the ideas held by those using it, for 
they are either poorly educated or ill-intentioned. 
George Washington and Benjamin Franklin could 
take America's educational systems as they stand 
and overnight turn them into the most powerful 
force ever known for the elevation of mankind. Had 
they had the resources available to our educational 
leaders today, the concepts they put into motion 
would never have been outflanked by so ethically 
impoverished a combine as that revealed by our 
current account. 

The thinking of world leaders is monitored by 
their educations. Solutions to world problems are 
now being devised and implemented by people who 
are the products of an exponentially deteriorating 
educational system. 

Two hallmarks of a failed educational system 
are: 1) its inability to produce people who can 
resolve the problems of education itself, and 2) its 
propensity for elevating to positions of power and 
authority people who will invent, advocate, and 
enforce bizarre and destructive solutions. These 
"solutions" attack the culture like a cancer and 
prompt those responsible to apply a kind of cultural 
chemotherapy, painfully staving off the agonizing 
consequences of their ineptitude until a new echelon 
of mediocrats has succeeded them. 

Life without education becomes a progressive 
shrinking away from the most positive and exacting 



98 THE LEIPZIG CONNECTION 

dreams of Man. 

Humanity is ill-organized. Geographically frag- 
mented, it is spiritually and mentally even more 
dispersed by an informational oligarchy enthralling 
the populations of Earth with its psychologically 
programmed media. This curtain of disinformation 
drawn over our lives makes any betterment appear 
inconsequential and futile; all progress is reduced to 
mere news and is quickly overwhelmed by a 
relendess tide of deterioration, alarm, and crisis. 

Compulsory universal government psychotherapy 
is not education. 

Miseducation of both our leaders and their con- 
stituents or subjects is at the root of all our diffi- 
culties. Earth is educationally disenfranchised by the 
innate schemings of a universal ignorance. Nothing 
short of a complete educational renaissance will 
serve. 



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About the author: 



Paolo Lionni was bom in Switzerland in 1938 and was educated there, in 
Italy, and in the U.S. (Brandeis University). During his lifetime he served as 
art director of several national magazines and his drawings, poetry, essays, 
and translations have been published in Europe, the U.S., and Mexico. For 
the last 15 years of his life, he was very active in the field of education 
promoting an alternative to the educational philosophies described in The 
Leipzig Connection.